The Use of Digital Technology in Early Learning
In October, 2016, there were several important documents were released regarding the use of digital technology and children, particularly in early childhood.
The American Academy of Pediatrics set new guidelines for the use of electronic media by children. This is the first revision since they the guidelines were first initially developed in 1999 and revised in 2011. The use of technology should be discouraged for children under age 2 and should only of high quality programming for older children. Families should be encouraged to develop a Family Media Plan that includes the following:
• For children younger than 18 months, avoid the use of screen media other than video-chatting.
• Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch the programming with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
• For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
• For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, the types of media that are used, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
Additionally, the US Department of Education and US Department of Health & Human Services, set out a policy brief that states that the use of digital technology in early learning should follow four guidelines, as outlined in our PEATC factsheet, located on our PEATC website (www.peatc.org).